Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Argument for the existence of God

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

1). What does deductions have to do with what I said?

2).There are concepts that particularly refer to aspects of existence that one has not observed.

3). Existence, the widest abstraction is not definable save ostensibly! Any attempt is circular.

1. Deductions have to do with everything, that's how I validate my abstractions and inform my inductions. A deduction is the product of applying logic to specific information within a given context. That Existence exists is an axiom; but to exist means to have a specific nature. Man also has a nature. So does Man's interaction with Existence. And whether or not there is a "real" real world beyond our grasp of it is unverifiable, and hence irrelevant (arbitrary). Deductions are how we grasp Existence, so while Existence itself can't be defined (point taken), my operational experience of Existence CAN be grasped, and is ALL that can be grasped, can be defined, and is all I have to work with.

2. Right, I must admit to having been too sloppy before in failing to sufficiently emphasize that this is an OPERATIONAL definition, and because I cannot go beyond it in reality, it is just the right size, i.e., it includes only that which is included. Size as in conceptual containment. It does not mean I ignore the future (did you read the quotes or just skim them?). The sum-total of my grasp of experience of Existence is ever-growing, and the definition grows along with it in lock step, and never omits nor imagines anything that cannot be referred back to one or more experiences.

3. Right, Existence per se is beyond definition, because not graspable as a whole. But aspects of Existence, such as my grasp of it, can be defined, and I need an operational definition that is closed with respect to my every past and future possible experience, because I don't like deducing without first basing myself in what I can verify.

You are here claim the primacy of consciousness and that concepts cannot not refer to the unexperienced. The very word "unexperienced" is an example of such a concept, as is unobserved , unknown, and unknowable.

I'm sorry but "unexperienced" is the NEGATIVE of a concept, and has no meaning otherwise. Same with "unobserved", "unknown", and etc. I specifically AFFIRM the primacy of EXISTENCE by restricting myself to using only that which I observe as the basis for my computations, augmented in the case of some inductions by the good conclusions of others whom I trust (since I don't always have time to verify every detail of prior results, this division of labor save me time and gives me leverage).

Concepts can only refer to experience, because experience is the context. They can be imaginative, inductive, etc., without drawing in "non-experience"; they can anticipate future experiences based on the patterns observed in past experiences. But they cannot alter experience, nor contradict it without punishment.

What I DO NOT DO is assume there is anything more that I can use other than what I can, in fact, use: my observations, my ideas, my ability to share knowledge, divide labor, trade, use logic, take action. All of these ARE definable, operationally, as Existence viewed by Man -- which is what Fuller's definition seeks to integrate.

As Weaver has explained you are confusing consciousness with experience.

It would refer to the axiom of consciousness,which of course is secondary to existence! You are conflating existence with consciousness as Ive said.

Existence --> the sum-total of all that which is available

Consciousness --> the individual avail of Existence

Experience --> the product of Consciousness availing Existence

This does nothing to prove your assertion about the universe or existence.No one denies this only your rediculous idea that it informs your idea of the universe.

Your shrill tone belies the fact that you don't understand what I am saying, and rather than find out, you assume it is hogwash. As if I could be muzzled by being labeled an idiot or insane or stupidly evasive, when no one who approaches me evenly has EVER come to that conclusion.

Again no one is refuting the first part. The rest is gibberish nonsense. Experience is NOT a "metaphysical primary".

The level of hubris is astonishing. "Gibberish"? Is that what you call something you don't understand? Why are you so frustrated, anyhow?

See above re the final sentence: Experience is a primary; functions need data. Existence and Consciousness are functional concepts, Experience is data. You need both to produce something: inputs and a machine to convert the inputs to products.

No, the word for it is concept , which is an object of consciousness.

No, the word "experience" is conceptually larger (i.e., contains more concepts) than the word "concept". I can have sensory experience that I cannot make out clearly, cannot attach to any specific perceptual entity, and cannot really call conceptual at all beyond some notion of "kinda fuzzy". Identification of percepts and concepts is also a form of (mental) experience. Without concepts, I cannot understand my experience; but just as Existence is primary to Consciousness, so Experience is primary to Concept. The first pairing is generic, the second specific.

This does nothing to support your claim about existence being subject to the existents that conceptualize it.

I made no such claim; if something I wrote gave you that impression, either I wrote it poorly or you misread it. I suspect the latter, but if you are willing to point out the basis of your assertion in my writings and then figure out where we miscommunicated, I'd be happy to have a chance to "do-over",

- ico

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your thread title is :" Argument for the existence of God". All of your arguments will rest upon what you define "god" as. Your whole position requires and asserts arbitrary existents.

Exactly. Or, more pointedly: all of your arguments will rest upon what you take as experience of God; no experience == no verification == arbitrary.

Existence is sufficient, conceptually, to encompass all the facts of experience across all individuals, so God is irrelevant and arbitrary as "conceived", i.e., as a first mover.

- ico

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, the word "experience" is conceptually larger (i.e., contains more concepts) than the word "concept". I can have sensory experience that I cannot make out clearly, cannot attach to any specific perceptual entity, and cannot really call conceptual at all beyond some notion of "kinda fuzzy". Identification of percepts and concepts is also a form of (mental) experience. Without concepts, I cannot understand my experience; but just as Existence is primary to Consciousness, so Experience is primary to Concept. The first pairing is generic, the second specific.

Entity is the pre-requisite to concept.

Experience is the product of consciousness which is the active process, and existence, being necessary for consciousness to differentiate and integrate from.

Entities are percepts automatically integrated from sensations, and later categorized into concepts by a conceptual consciousness. Experience is derived from the relationship of consciousness to existence via time. Consciousness experiences existence, it is not experience that 'permits' consciousness awareness of existence. Experience is an abstraction that relies on the fundementals of existence and consciousness, and the abstraction of time which is derived from consciousness observing the changing of entities spatial relationship to one another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entity is the pre-requisite to concept.

Experience is the product of consciousness which is the active process, and existence, being necessary for consciousness to differentiate and integrate from.

Entities are percepts automatically integrated from sensations, and later categorized into concepts by a conceptual consciousness. Experience is derived from the relationship of consciousness to existence via time. Consciousness experiences existence, it is not experience that 'permits' consciousness awareness of existence. Experience is an abstraction that relies on the fundementals of existence and consciousness, and the abstraction of time which is derived from consciousness observing the changing of entities spatial relationship to one another.

I don't disagree with your way of saying it; and I don't think we are saying things too far off now.

But I am suggesting that experience is discrete, i.e., that the product of consciousness addressing existence is actually an integrated, hierarchical sum of separately conceived products that each have a beginning and an end, i.e., are each a separately identifiable, objective ex-peri-ence.

My interaction with Existence comes into my mind in discrete packages based on my sensation of external events. A unit of experience, i.e., an experience, is such an interaction package.

I am saying something so simple at this point that I doubt you'd have disagreed if I had just summed it up in the first place: One only has a set of discrete experiences to work with in forming concepts. Percepts are the conceptual aspect of experience; the signals from which percepts are woven are the existential aspect. Both are required to have experience. Experience is the instantiation of a concept with specific measurements. Experience is to concept like an object is to a class in Java. And, each specific concept held in mind is at least the experience of an object of the class Concept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Experience is the instantiation of a concept with specific measurements.

Experience is a concept abstracted from dropping of the specific measurements involved.

Experience drops the measurement of time. Some time must have passed, but any amount may have.

Experience drops the measurements of objects/entitites, consciousness, in that some thing(s) was observed by somebody(ies) but could be any thing(s) observed by anybody(ies).

Experience is an abstraction from abstractions, as concept is an abstraction from abstractions.

Concept abstracts from the units of language integrating them into a single unit of language identified as a concept.

Experience is a concept integrated from time/entities/consciousness. Concepts are integrated by a process which involves experience.

It occurs to me here that you may be speaking of experience existentially. In that context, an infant experiences prior to conceptualization, but will not conceptualize 'experience' until much further along in it's develpment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to take a little bit different approach in my next few posts. I have been approaching this issue in a semi-socratic or discussion way- attempting to understand other's positions and to respond accordingly, etc..

However, it's become rather obvious that this isn't going to get anywhere since many in here are not willing to attempt to understand my positions (or perhaps I am just too slow and I ware out their patience)...and since there seems to be A LOT more differences in major metaphysical and epistemological assumptions between myself and the Objectivists on here than I had anticipate.

SO, I'm going to take more of an "offensive" approach and spell out some positions of mine which seem to be fundamentally different from those on here.

This first post is on whether or not physical matter is all that exists (*please pay special attention to the way in which I mean "exists" in the following). This will also hopefully clear up the debate about the distinction between the mind and the brain..

“Existence” here refers to actual entities which actually exist outside of and apart from the mind. Some commonly refer to ideas or concepts as “existing” in the sense that they “exist” in the mind of a person- however this form of existence (in the mind) must be distinguished from existence apart from the mind. In order to avoid confusion, “exist” in the following is used in the strictest sense to refer only to the type of existence which is outside of the mind.

1)If only physical matter exists (outside of the mind), than physical cause and effect is the only explanation for any event (the interaction of events) or thing (the past, present or future condition of any entity).

2)If there is only physical matter, than our brains are only physical matter and the concept of “mind” is only an abstraction referring to the chemical activity within the physical matter of our brains.

3)If only physical matter in our brains exists (if “minds” don’t actually exist) and if only physical cause and effect can explain all events, then only physical cause and effect can explain the physical/”chemical” activity of our brains.

4)If only physical cause and effect can explain the activity in our brains, then only cause and effect can explain the act which we call “reasoning” or “thinking” or “being objective”.

But “to reason objectively” means for the activity of one’s brain to correspond accurately to outside reality.

5)If only physical cause and effect can explain all activity in the brain, then one’s brain cannot be said to accurately correspond to reality except by extremely low probabilities of mere chance.

6)If one’s brain cannot be said to correspond to reality (except by chance) than no proposition (which is a product of the activity of the brain) can be said to correspond to reality.

7)If no proposition can be said to correspond to reality, then the proposition that “only physical matter exists” cannot be said to correspond to reality.

8)If the proposition that “only physical matter exists” cannot be said to correspond to reality (because of the logical implications of the proposition as demonstrated above), then the proposition that “only physical matter exists” is self-contradictory by virtue of the Law of Non-Contradiction.

9)If the proposition that “only physical matter exists” violates the Law of Non-Contradiction, then it is false.

10)By virtue of the law of the Excluded Middle, either “only physical matter exists” or “more than physical matter exists”

11)If the proposition that “only physical matter exists” is false, then by virtue of the Law of the Excluded Middle, there is more than physical matter which exists.

Furthermore, following the reasoning above, at least one non physical thing must exist in order for any proposition to correspond to reality- the mind. The mind must be above and outside of physical reality (outside of the influence of cause and effect) in order to commit the act of “objectification” and thus produce a proposition which corresponds to reality. I am not here saying that we must assume a concept called “mind” pragmatically (this is likely what an Objectivist would say). I am saying that in order to assume that any proposition can be valid, we must assume that minds exist in reality- not as mere abstractions in our heads, but as actually entities in objective reality.

Objectivists claim that the ability to reason objectively is a given – which cannot be proved or disproved and is beyond question. Agreed. But they then proceed to espouse a world-view (Naturalism) which logically Contradicts this ability (as shown above). This does not negate the ability, but it does negate those parts of the worldview which contradict the ability. I will likely be accused of making an argument for or against the ability to make an argument. This is not what I have done. I have taken a common assumption from the worldview of most Objectivists and shown that it demands the inability to make an argument- which means that it is illogical and should be discarded from a rational worldview. This “it”, this “common assumption” which must be discarded is “Naturalism”- or the idea that only physical matter actually exists.

*I owe much of the above argument to C.S. Lewis's argument in his book "Miracles", Chapter 4&5...just trying to give credit where credit is due.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our minds can still operate in the same way if they are not dualistic, arriving at propositions that do and do not correspond to reality with the same frequencies. And in what sense is reason and/or the propositions of our mind "invalidated" on naturalism, according to your argument? We can still analyze arguments to see where they go wrong. There's nothing apparently missing from our reasoning abilities once we get rid of dualistic minds. [/Anscombe]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The following is an attempt to make clear the angle at which I am coming at this issue in relation to Objectivism. I say "attempt" not because I think my efforts are lacking but because I fear even such a careful and elaborate explanation will be ignored by responders who wish to evade the actual subject of the discussion.

Objectivism claims that existence is a given- which cannot be proved or disproved and is beyond question. Fine. But they then proceed to espouse a worldview which logically contradicts the possibility of existence. This does not negate existence, but it does negate those parts of the worldview which contradict the possibility of existence. I agree that we must assume existence, but we also must formulate a worldview which adequately integrates existence.

“Explaining existence would require stepping outside of existence”. Exactly! Therefore a rational worldview must have an existent for which there is no outside explanation- an existent which is entirely explained in and of itself- a “Necessary Existent”. The Objectivist hastily says that this thing is Nature or “the physical Universe”- for no apparent reason other than that it happens to be the biggest and most all encompassing thing they can conceive of. Then, when a person questions the suitableness of Physical Nature to be considered as this Necessary Existent, the Objectivist repeats the fact that there is no explanation to existence. The Objectivist here has misunderstood the question (or is evading it). The question is not “what is the explanation for existence?”. The question is “Is the physical universe an adequate candidate to be considered the Necessary Existent?” Or “Does the physical universe have or require an outside explanation- which would bar it from being the Necessary Existent?” This question does not violate the axiom “Existence Exists” in any way. Rather, if asked genuinely, it is an honest expression of genuine devotion to the axiom- seeking to fully integrate it into one’s worldview without exception (even if it is difficult or counter-intuitive).

A person with integrity who genuinely wishes to be logically consistent with the axiom that “Existence exists” would be eager to scrutinize any and all candidates for the position of “Necessary Existent”. He would not passively allow this position to be filled by any random assumption or whim. The constant reply from Objectivists when asked about explanations for Physical Nature demonstrate that they have done just that- they have passively allowed “the physical universe” to become synonymous with “Existence as such” or “Necessary Existence” without even realizing that they have done it. The two ideas have become so interlocked in their worldview, that they interpret the question “must there be an explanation for the physical universe?” as “must there be an explanation for existence?”. They have filled the category of “an existent without outside explanation” with a particular existent called “the physical universe”- but their inability to distinguish between the above questions demonstrates that they were likely never even aware that such a category existed in the first place- let alone that any candidate to fill such a category must be logically scrutinized.

“To grasp the axiom that existence exists, means to grasp the fact that nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence. Whether its basic constituent elements are atoms, or subatomic particles, or some yet undiscovered forms of energy, it is not ruled by a consciousness or by will or by chance, but by the Law of Identity. All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe—from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life—are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved. Nature is the metaphysically given—i.e., the nature of nature is outside the power of any volition.” –Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs it? p25.

Here Rand seems to make the assumption mentioned above. The Theist agrees that” Existence exists, and that therefore _____________cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence”. In general, the blank could be filled by “Existence as such”, but this doesn’t help because it does not specify which existent is being discussed. The Theist is not content to throw just ANY existent in that blank. It is a holy blank and must not be filled passively. For instance- neither the Theist nor the Objectivist would fill the blank with “I” or “My spouse” or “Mt. Everest” or even “The Earth”. Why? Because it is immediately obvious that none of those things fit the context. Each could easily be annihilated and go out of existence. Rand surely thought that “nature” or “the universe as a whole” was sufficient and safe to fill that blank because of her explicit definitions of those terms. She defines “nature” and “the universe” as “the sum total of all existents”. Well, if this is the case, then she certainly has some breathing room as it is illogical to say that “all that exists can be annihilated”. However, in addition to the explicit meanings she attributes to those terms (Nature and Universe), there is the implicit meaning which she also attributes but does not mention as explicitly. She (and most Objectivists) mean “physical nature” and the “physical universe” when they speak of nature and the universe. They are making the assumption up front that physical matter is the only actual form of existence, and then “packaging” that assumption into their definition of the Universe as “all existents”. Therefore, when Rand says “universe” or “all existents”, we should read “the physical universe” and “all physical existents”. In this case, she may not have as much breathing room as it seemed. Perhaps there is good reason to assume that there are other forms of existents which are not physical. In this case, what she means by “nature” and “universe” surely cannot fill the blank. Perhaps there are certain things about "the physical universe" that make it difficult to imagine that it is the Necessary Existent....like the fact that it is only a category referring to many separate entities-each of which does not seem sufficient to fill the blank in and of itself... or the fact that each physical entity seems to have the capability of being annihilated and therefore it does not seem impossible for all physical entities to be annihilated...or the fact that physical entities are mutable while it would seem that a Necessary Existent would not be mutable, etc...

Because of many such difficulties the physical universe does not seem qualified to fill the blank any more than “Mt Everest" is- and for the same reasons.

Ignoring the difficulties does not make them go away and ignoring them in the name of "upholding the Axiom of Existence" is tantamount to an Altruist ignoring Objectivism in the name of "upholding morality".

THIS is the "worldview" or "paradigm" or "angle" at which I am approaching this issue. I am convinced that it is the right approach. The majority of my arguments on this forum have been in the form of questioning the suitability of physical nature to be considered the "ultimate" or "necessary" thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our minds can still operate in the same way if they are not dualistic, arriving at propositions that do and do not correspond to reality with the same frequencies. And in what sense is reason and/or the propositions of our mind "invalidated" on naturalism, according to your argument? We can still analyze arguments to see where they go wrong. There's nothing apparently missing from our reasoning abilities once we get rid of dualistic minds. [/Anscombe]

The quickest response is that Rand refers to the act of reasoning as a volitional one- and volition is not possible in a purely physical world because as shown above, the only forms of action or change (even in one's own brain) would be results of cause and effect- which leaves no possibility for volition.

Think about the common objections "you only believe that because you're _______" ...fill in the blank. The objection is that the belief is based on mere cause and effect. If you fill the blank with "republican", the objection is that you are not considering the issue (whatever it may be) "objectively" but rather being influenced (in a cause and effect manner) because of the fact that you belong to a certain political group.

Make sense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a rational worldview must have an existent for which there is no outside explanation- an existent which is entirely explained in and of itself- a “Necessary Existent”. The Objectivist hastily says that this thing is Nature or “the physical Universe”- for no apparent reason other than that it happens to be the biggest and most all encompassing thing they can conceive of. ........................................... He would not passively allow this position to be filled by any random assumption or whim. The constant reply from Objectivists when asked about explanations for Physical Nature demonstrate that they have done just that- they have passively allowed “the physical universe” to become synonymous with “Existence as such” or “Necessary Existence” without even realizing that they have done it. The two ideas have become so interlocked in their worldview, that they interpret the question “must there be an explanation for the physical universe?” as “must there be an explanation for existence?”. They have filled the category of “an existent without outside explanation” with a particular existent called “the physical universe”- but their inability to distinguish between the above questions demonstrates that they were likely never even aware that such a category existed in the first place- let alone that any candidate to fill such a category must be logically scrutinized.

Here is your misunderstanding. You have not understood the objectivist position on the arbitrary and its relation to "non-physical" existence. Oist claim "the physical universe" is the only candidate because all alternatives are either irrational or arbitrary, not because of "passive allowance","random assumptions" or "whims".

Then, when a person questions the suitableness of Physical Nature to be considered as this Necessary Existent, the Objectivist repeats the fact that there is no explanation to existence.

That certainly is not what I have done. Until your recent post I haven't read an attempt other than the context dropping stolen concept of "mind" earlier. Ill review your latest shortly.

The Objectivist here has misunderstood the question (or is evading it). The question is not “what is the explanation for existence?”. The question is “Is the physical universe an adequate candidate to be considered the Necessary Existent?” Or “Does the physical universe have or require an outside explanation- which would bar it from being the Necessary Existent?” This question does not violate the axiom “Existence Exists” in any way.

I certainly have not misunderstood your claim as "what is the explanation for existence". You have tried to use an analytic[necessary/contingent] process of showing that an actual infinity not being possible requires a" non-physical necessary being" by virtue of being a contradiction of "no actual infinity" if rejected.

However, in addition to the explicit meanings she attributes to those terms (Nature and Universe), there is the implicit meaning which she also attributes but does not mention as explicitly. She (and most Objectivists) mean “physical nature” and the “physical universe” when they speak of nature and the universe. They are making the assumption up front that physical matter is the only actual form of existence, and then “packaging” that assumption into their definition of the Universe as “all existents”. Therefore, when Rand says “universe” or “all existents”, we should read “the physical universe” and “all physical existents”.

Same misunderstanding. Its not an "assumption" unknowingly implicit in Oist conception of the U .Its a direct consequence of Oist epistemology and its criteria for a valid concept. Again its not an assumption but a rejection of arbitrary alternatives,an application of "Rands razor".

Perhaps there is good reason to assume that there are other forms of existents which are not physical. In this case, what she means by “nature” and “universe” surely cannot fill the blank. Perhaps there are certain things about "the physical universe" that make it difficult to imagine that it is the Necessary Existent....like the fact that it is only a category referring to many separate entities-each of which does not seem sufficient to fill the blank in and of itself... or the fact that each physical entity seems to have the capability of being annihilated and therefore it does not seem impossible for all physical entities to be annihilated...or the fact that physical entities are mutable while it would seem that a Necessary Existent would not be mutable, etc...

All of the above "facts" are nonsense. Matter cannot be "annihilated" and their is nothing insufficient about a multiplicity of material entities in motion eternaly. How is "mutable" relevent here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The quickest response is that Rand refers to the act of reasoning as a volitional one- and volition is not possible in a purely physical world because as shown above, the only forms of action or change (even in one's own brain) would be results of cause and effect- which leaves no possibility for volition.

Think about the common objections "you only believe that because you're _______" ...fill in the blank. The objection is that the belief is based on mere cause and effect. If you fill the blank with "republican", the objection is that you are not considering the issue (whatever it may be) "objectively" but rather being influenced (in a cause and effect manner) because of the fact that you belong to a certain political group.

Make sense?

I don't see how this responds to my objection. Even if a chain of reasoning is the result of cause and effect, we can evaluate the reasoning to see if it is good or bad. Even if I believe xyz because (in the causal sense of "because") I'm a Republican, we can still evaluate the explicit reasoning that I give for xyz. So, reason isn't actually affected by the disappearance of dualistic minds.

Your argument that in the absence of dualistic minds, we would not have free will is basically the common determinist claim that if everything is deterministic cause and effect at the smallest level, then everything is deterministic cause and effect at all levels. But the Objectivist is more empirical than that, and so agrees that everything is determined at the smallest level while still insisting that somehow, free will emerges at the human level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It occurs to me here that you may be speaking of experience existentially. In that context, an infant experiences prior to conceptualization, but will not conceptualize 'experience' until much further along in it's develpment.

Exactly. Just because I retroactively identify the concept doesn't mean it's not in implicit use from the get-go.

The order of genesis is: Existence first, then the first awareness of Existence, which is the predicate of Consciousness. But it is the SECOND experience, i.e., the reflective experience of identifying SELF, that births Consciousness. At this level, the words "concept" and "experience" may be more or less equivalent, but I think they focus on different aspects: concepts are the mental aspects, sensations are the material aspects, and experience is the product/process of joining them together to make percepts, which are, properly seen, the means by which concepts and sensations are connected together. Experience resolves to percepts by the time we are able to consider it, but the transition from sensory awareness to percepts is not deterministic and can be done in many ways ... which are informed by the conceptual context of the perceiver.

Perception requires Existence AND Consciousness to exist, and percepts are the product of experience, i.e., of Consciousness addressing Existence in discretely considerable units. That these units are discrete and considerable, i.e., conceptual, is true; but the units are interesting because we can identify and reproduce them. For example, photon patterns in the eye recognized as a chair is one unit of experience -- the percept is "chair", but the unit of experience is "chair concept" conjoined with "whatever it is out there that gave rise to the sensations consistent with my chair concept".

Good and important stuff. I think in terms of the minimum volumetric container, conceptually: tetrahedron. The minimum interaction domain between extended bodies must be a tetrahedron, because at minimum an extended body has extent and is idealized by a pole, and two poles conjoined bound a tetrahedron.

So, volumetrically speaking, experience is packaged in units of tetrahedra and each sense requires TWO distinct receptors separate in space, to form the observer's pole. Then, by comparing pairwise the features of entities observed, one gets the other pole. Perception becomes a matter of accounting a high frequency stream of tetrahedra coming in multiple sensory threads that can be correlated.

Sorry if that sounds like "word salad", but I can't write the book here. It does make some sense, though: percepts are "tetrahedral" at minimum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Existence” here refers to actual entities which actually exist outside of and apart from the mind. Some commonly refer to ideas or concepts as “existing” in the sense that they “exist” in the mind of a person- however this form of existence (in the mind) must be distinguished from existence apart from the mind. In order to avoid confusion, “exist” in the following is used in the strictest sense to refer only to the type of existence which is outside of the mind.

And herein lies the fallacy of your argument. You set up a mind-body dichotomy from the get go, and your logic then naturally leads to conclusions consistent with such dichotomy.

And since, in fact, such dichotomy is conceptual, not real, your assumption is mistaken, and leads you astray.

All I have to work with are the combinations my mind can create based on its content. Existence instigates content, but only if Consciousness is available to receive and rationally order the content. However, neither can be considered without both working together, they are essential complements, like the yin-yang of a tao, and cannot be considered separately. The units of consideration are neither Existence nor Consciousness, but their product, which is indivisible, operationally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6)If one’s brain cannot be said to correspond to reality (except by chance) than no proposition (which is a product of the activity of the brain) can be said to correspond to reality.

If 6 is true, then there's no such thing as the law of identity or the law of excluded middle. Your argument completely falls apart there. In addition, this is a GREAT example of a rationalist type of argument for anyone interested. The argument begins with a single premise and deduces everything from there, without reference to or beginning with any particular concretes. And notably it ends up with saying concretes aren't the only things that exist. (Well, we can say concepts exist, but they always refer to things you can touch).

Edited by Eiuol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If 6 is true, then there's no such thing as the law of identity or the law of excluded middle. Your argument completely falls apart there. In addition, this is a GREAT example of a rationalist type of argument for anyone interested. The argument begins with a single premise and deduces everything from there, without reference to or beginning with any particular concretes. And notably it ends up with saying concretes aren't the only things that exist. (Well, we can say concepts exist, but they always refer to things you can touch).

HAHAHAHAHA! Yes! You have just proven my argument. lol. I DON'T believe that the physical universe is all that exists and therefore I am not beholden to the logical implications of that argument.

Go back to the first premise which says "IF only physical matter exists...".

I do not hold that premise. You and all Naturalist do- and therefore it is your worldview and the worldview of Naturalism which is falling apart. Not mine.

(By "Naturalism", I mean the idea that only physical matter exists).

This was an argument to show the irrationality of a worldview. The reference to a particular concrete which you demand is the fact that we can indeed reason and that therefore any premise which logically implies the inability to reason is false.

Please re-read this carefully until you understand what I am saying:

"Objectivists claim that the ability to reason objectively is a given – which cannot be proved or disproved and is beyond question. Agreed. But they then proceed to espouse a world-view (Naturalism) which logically Contradicts this ability (as shown above). This [the fact that Naturalism is contradictory] does not negate the ability, but it does negate those parts of the worldview which contradict the ability. I will likely be accused of making an argument for or against the ability to make an argument. This is not what I have done. I have taken a common assumption from the worldview of most Objectivists and shown that it demands the inability to make an argument- which means that it is illogical and should be discarded from a rational worldview. This “it”, this “common assumption” which must be discarded is “Naturalism”- or the idea that only physical matter actually exists. "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And herein lies the fallacy of your argument. You set up a mind-body dichotomy from the get go, and your logic then naturally leads to conclusions consistent with such dichotomy.

And since, in fact, such dichotomy is conceptual, not real, your assumption is mistaken, and leads you astray.

All I have to work with are the combinations my mind can create based on its content. Existence instigates content, but only if Consciousness is available to receive and rationally order the content. However, neither can be considered without both working together, they are essential complements, like the yin-yang of a tao, and cannot be considered separately. The units of consideration are neither Existence nor Consciousness, but their product, which is indivisible, operationally.

I have not set up a dichotomy- I don't know what you're talking about. I have made a distinction between reality as it is apart from my mind AND reality as my mind comprehends it. In other words, I have made a distinction between the Objective and the Subjective- which seems like a rather healthy and yet ironically unpopular distinction amongst "OBJECTIVists".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly. Just because I retroactively identify the concept doesn't mean it's not in implicit use from the get-go.

Concepts and knowledge are both hierarchial and contextual - grasping them requires establishing both the hierarchy and the context, without which can demonstrably lead to the confusion we have just experienced, and subsequently establishing the hierarchy and context, clarify.

The order of genesis is: Existence first, then the first awareness of Existence, which is the predicate of Consciousness. But it is the SECOND experience, i.e., the reflective experience of identifying SELF, that births Consciousness. At this level, the words "concept" and "experience" may be more or less equivalent, but I think they focus on different aspects: concepts are the mental aspects, sensations are the material aspects, and experience is the product/process of joining them together to make percepts, which are, properly seen, the means by which concepts and sensations are connected together. Experience resolves to percepts by the time we are able to consider it, but the transition from sensory awareness to percepts is not deterministic and can be done in many ways ... which are informed by the conceptual context of the perceiver.

Using 'experience' in this context suggests that it could be an axiomatic concept.

Good and important stuff. I think in terms of the minimum volumetric container, conceptually: tetrahedron. The minimum interaction domain between extended bodies must be a tetrahedron, because at minimum an extended body has extent and is idealized by a pole, and two poles conjoined bound a tetrahedron.

Circumscribe a sphere inside your tetrahedron. Is it's volume less than or greater than the tetrahedron? Circumscribe a tetrahedron inside the aforementioned sphere. It's volume is less than the sphere. Mathematically, this can be carried out repeatedly, beyond the resolution imposed by our physical abilities to discern the volume of the inscribed from the circumscribed.

So, volumetrically speaking, experience is packaged in units of tetrahedra and each sense requires TWO distinct receptors separate in space, to form the observer's pole. Then, by comparing pairwise the features of entities observed, one gets the other pole. Perception becomes a matter of accounting a high frequency stream of tetrahedra coming in multiple sensory threads that can be correlated.

This may be benificial as a metephor, as experience is ultimately packaged in units of concepts.

Mathematics is the science of measurement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see how this responds to my objection. Even if a chain of reasoning is the result of cause and effect, we can evaluate the reasoning to see if it is good or bad. Even if I believe xyz because (in the causal sense of "because") I'm a Republican, we can still evaluate the explicit reasoning that I give for xyz. So, reason isn't actually affected by the disappearance of dualistic minds.

Yes, indeed we CAN. But that is because we live in the world where Naturalism is false. What I have stated in my argument is that the ability to reason demands that more than the physical universe exists.

What you are saying is akin to someone saying that they don't believe in the Laws of Logic, but that they still have the ability to reason and therefore Logic is not necessary for reason.

What mistake have they made? They have mistaken "belief in Logic" in the first premise with "the actuality of Logic" in the second. Or, in other words, they have mistaken the Subjective use of Logic for the Objective use of Logic. Subjectively, one must not "believe in Logic" in order to reason accurately (though it would obviously be helpful). However, Objectively, accurate reasoning is dependent upon Logic whether anyone ever realizes it or not.

So it is with my argument. The ability to reason is Objectively dependent on the fact that more than the physical universe exists- whether or not any individual ever Subjectively realizes that it is so.

Your argument that in the absence of dualistic minds, we would not have free will is basically the common determinist claim that if everything is deterministic cause and effect at the smallest level, then everything is deterministic cause and effect at all levels. But the Objectivist is more empirical than that, and so agrees that everything is determined at the smallest level while still insisting that somehow, free will emerges at the human level.

Hahaha. But the Determinist is right. "IF everything is deterministic cause and effect at the smallest level, then everything is deterministic cause and effect at all levels". "All levels" are dependent upon the smallest level and therefore cannot be thought to gain any magical powers simply because they are at a different level.

This isn't a problem for MY worldview, it's a problem for the Naturalist worldview. (Remember, I do not hold that premise).

You say the Objectivist overcomes this problem by being "more empirical than that". I'd say he overcomes this problem by being less logically consistent than that- and subsequently evading the fact that part of his worldview (Naturalism) does not cohere with his "empirical" observation that he is indeed reasoning.

This insistence that "somehow, free will emerges at the human level" smack awfully of mysticism.

The Determinist reasons (rightly) that: if Naturalism, No reason. But then ignores or evades the empirical experience of reasoning.

The Objectivist reasons (rightly) that: If experience of reason, ability to reason. But then ignores or evades the fact that their worldview (Naturalism) contradicts this experience.

My worldview holds "Supernaturalism" (the idea that more than the physical universe exists) and therefore has no such need to pit reason against experience on this issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see how this responds to my objection. Even if a chain of reasoning is the result of cause and effect, we can evaluate the reasoning to see if it is good or bad. Even if I believe xyz because (in the causal sense of "because") I'm a Republican, we can still evaluate the explicit reasoning that I give for xyz. So, reason isn't actually affected by the disappearance of dualistic minds.

Yes, indeed we CAN. But that is because we live in the world where Naturalism is false. What I have stated in my argument is that the ability to reason demands that more than the physical universe exists.

What you are saying is akin to someone saying that they don't believe in the Laws of Logic, but that they still have the ability to reason and therefore Logic is not necessary for reason.

What mistake have they made? They have mistaken "belief in Logic" in the first premise with "the actuality of Logic" in the second. Or, in other words, they have mistaken the Subjective use of Logic for the Objective use of Logic. Subjectively, one must not "believe in Logic" in order to reason accurately (though it would obviously be helpful). However, Objectively, accurate reasoning is dependent upon Logic whether anyone ever realizes it or not.

So it is with my argument. The ability to reason is Objectively dependent on the fact that more than the physical universe exists- whether or not any individual ever Subjectively realizes that it is so.

Your argument that in the absence of dualistic minds, we would not have free will is basically the common determinist claim that if everything is deterministic cause and effect at the smallest level, then everything is deterministic cause and effect at all levels. But the Objectivist is more empirical than that, and so agrees that everything is determined at the smallest level while still insisting that somehow, free will emerges at the human level.

Hahaha. But the Determinist is right. "IF everything is deterministic cause and effect at the smallest level, then everything is deterministic cause and effect at all levels". "All levels" are dependent upon the smallest level and therefore cannot be thought to gain any magical powers simply because they are at a different level.

This isn't a problem for MY worldview, it's a problem for the Naturalist worldview. (Remember, I do not hold that premise).

You say the Objectivist overcomes this problem by being "more empirical than that". I'd say he overcomes this problem by being less logically consistent than that- and subsequently evading the fact that part of his worldview (Naturalism) does not cohere with his "empirical" observation that he is indeed reasoning.

This insistence that "somehow, free will emerges at the human level" smack awfully of mysticism.

The Determinist reasons (rightly) that: if Naturalism, No reason. But then ignores or evades the empirical experience of reasoning.

The Objectivist reasons (rightly) that: If experience of reason, ability to reason. But then ignores or evades the fact that their worldview (Naturalism) contradicts this experience.

My worldview holds "Supernaturalism" (the idea that more than the physical universe exists) and therefore has no such need to pit reason against experience on this issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is your misunderstanding. You have not understood the objectivist position on the arbitrary and its relation to "non-physical" existence. Oist claim "the physical universe" is the only candidate because all alternatives are either irrational or arbitrary, not because of "passive allowance","random assumptions" or "whims".

That certainly is not what I have done. Until your recent post I haven't read an attempt other than the context dropping stolen concept of "mind" earlier. Ill review your latest shortly.

I certainly have not misunderstood your claim as "what is the explanation for existence". You have tried to use an analytic[necessary/contingent] process of showing that an actual infinity not being possible requires a" non-physical necessary being" by virtue of being a contradiction of "no actual infinity" if rejected.

Same misunderstanding. Its not an "assumption" unknowingly implicit in Oist conception of the U .Its a direct consequence of Oist epistemology and its criteria for a valid concept. Again its not an assumption but a rejection of arbitrary alternatives,an application of "Rands razor".

All of the above "facts" are nonsense. Matter cannot be "annihilated" and their is nothing insufficient about a multiplicity of material entities in motion eternaly. How is "mutable" relevent here?

I will only respond in general here to clarify the nature of the argument (further argument concerning "reasons to doubt the physical universe as the Necessary Existent will be forthcoming).

I began this discussion with that "paradigm" in mind- although admittedly, I had not worked it out explicitly as I did in that post and therefore I was probably less than clear up front.

However, the main angle of my argument has been to discuss the suitableness of the physical universe as that thing which "must exist" in and of itself. Obviously, I currently hold that it is not suitable and I hold that this necessitates a Being called "God" which is suitable.

BUT, in an argument one cannot spell everything out at once- so rather than posit my entire view on God as a necessary Being, I have instead attempted to take the route of "Socratic" type questioning about physical nature. Along the way, there have been some very annoying "hickups".

-One has been objections launched against my view of God based on straw men. When these were launched, I had to "step aside" from the main Socratic form of the argument in order to dismantle the straw men.

-Another has been what I described in that post- the accusation that by questioning physical nature, I am questioning existence as such. This is usually accompanied by very sarcastic denunciations and implications that I am an idiot.

-Another is the most recent one (which you referred to), where part of my idea about God (the idea that a mind could exist apart from a physical body) is said to lack any evidence and is therefore declared arbitrary and not worthy of consideration.

Allow me here to point out two different ways that we could mean "arbitrary"

1) The idea lacks on evidence in the physical universe.

This begs the question though. You assume upfront that "arbitrary" is synonymous with "not in physical universe" and then when asked to consider something beyond what you experience in the physical universe you reject that notion as absurd.

2)There is no reason whatsoever for the idea and the person positing the idea does not claim to have a reason. *Here when I say "You" I mean the general response from Oists on this forum.

Me:"Hey guys, you should consider this idea that theres a God!"

You: "why?"

Me: "Because it's neato!"

You: "Do you have any reason to believe in that idea?"

Me: "No. But it's a really cool idea so you should consider it!"

I agree. This would be arbitrary. And stupid.

But that is not an accurate representation of what I am doing. Yet, I am being accused of it and that is extremely frustrating (on top of the frustration of the other two "hickups" listed above)

A more accurate representation would be:

Me: "I would like to talk to you about reasons to believe that there is a God"

You: "Irrational!"

Me: "I know a lot of similar ideas have been irrational but I would like to talk about some rational ones"

You: "Prove it!"

Me: "Well lets start with a premise which we both hold and go from there"

You: "I'm waiting!"

Me: "How about the law of Cause and Effect?"

.......A plethora of misunderstandings and straw men and accusations that I'm violating the axiom of Existence.........

You: "You want me to believe in a God for which there is no reason to believe. Arbitrary!"

Me: "I'm not yet asking you to believe in God- I know that we haven't fully discussed reasons for believing in Him. I'm asking you to consider the validity of the other things I'm saying (which I believe will ultimately lead to proving that there is a God)"

You: "I'm WAITING!"

Me: "I've been trying but it seems we are talking past each other and not getting anywhere. Maybe we should define out terms a little more and get specific about what we are talking about"

You: "GOD IS ARBITRARY! You're insisting that I consider something that is ARBITRARY!"

The SAME discussion could be had by someone trying to convince someone else of the Laws of Logic and the same annoying responses, misunderstandings, strawmen, and demands for immediate evidence could be used to either evade the subject...or wear out the opponent.

Let me add that in reference to the rest of your post:

I am lead to think that I am right in saying that the Objectivist automatically assumes physical nature without scrutiny BECAUSE of the fact that the majority of Objectivists on this forum have been utterly incapable of speaking about explanations for physical nature without breaking out into hives thinking that Existence as such is being questioned.

However, if you (or anyone else) is the exception to that, very well; there should be no further discomfort in regards to asking about whether or not there are explanations for physical nature. There should be no more accusations that I am attempting to "step out of existence" in this discussion about possible explanations for physical existence.

Edited by Jacob86
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have not set up a dichotomy- I don't know what you're talking about. I have made a distinction between reality as it is apart from my mind AND reality as my mind comprehends it. In other words, I have made a distinction between the Objective and the Subjective- which seems like a rather healthy and yet ironically unpopular distinction amongst "OBJECTIVists".

You are distinguishing two aspects of the same thing. Existence is grasped; Consciousness grasps; but the product of the two, the grasp itself (which is all I have to work with, objectively) is an indivisible whole, of which Existence and Consciousness are the generative (yang/yin) complements. You can separately consider them as predicate, and you can in many cases decide which attributes of your grasp are partitioned to the generators; you cannot, however, explain every aspect of a grasp without both the grasper, and that which is grasped, brought together to produce a unit of experience, some of the properties of which are wholly unpredictable by considering only one part of the grasp.

That's called synergy: proclivities of wholes that are unpredictable from any of their parts or sub-aggregations.

It is the comprehension bit that can be objective (must be for a rational mind), and objectified. The subjective bits are not sufficient to produce comprehension; the intrinsic bits are also not sufficient. Separating them, except in retrospect of an existing whole, is putting the cart before the horse, experientially and therefore conceptually.

Objectivists distinguish between three things:

1. The intrinsic (or given), such as the fact that hydrogen behaves the way it does independent of consciousness;

2. The subjective, such as a quasi-concept that is either yet to be validated (inductive) or more or less invalid (floating -- the extreme of floating is a purely invalid concept);

3. The objective, which is a considerable entity, derived by linking the subjective to the intrinsic, producing a new object with intrinsic existence and value of its own.

I am saying that the first two never occur in and of themselves to the mind, and only the third, the product of the first two, is knowledge and therefore persistent and communicable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jacob said:

1) The idea lacks on evidence in the physical universe.

This begs the question though. You assume upfront that "arbitrary" is synonymous with "not in physical universe" and then when asked to consider something beyond what you experience in the physical universe you reject that notion as absurd.

Here's your other mistake. ALL evidence reduces to perception.This is bedrock to an Objectivist epistemology.It is again not an assumption but a requirement of objectivity. It also shows the impossibility of evidence being forthcoming.

But "Im still waiting"!

My worldview holds "Supernaturalism" (the idea that more than the physical universe exists) and therefore has no such need to pit reason against experience on this issue.

But you choose a worldview that pits the prefix of its name against the latter part of the word! There cannot be more than the universe by definition, just as there cannot be two levels of existence. Both concepts and concretes exist. IF there were non physical existents and matter independent minds they all would be simply existents.

Edited by Plasmatic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are distinguishing two aspects of the same thing. Existence is grasped; Consciousness grasps; but the product of the two, the grasp itself (which is all I have to work with, objectively) is an indivisible whole, of which Existence and Consciousness are the generative (yang/yin) complements. You can separately consider them as predicate, and you can in many cases decide which attributes of your grasp are partitioned to the generators; you cannot, however, explain every aspect of a grasp without both the grasper, and that which is grasped, brought together to produce a unit of experience, some of the properties of which are wholly unpredictable by considering only one part of the grasp.

That's called synergy: proclivities of wholes that are unpredictable from any of their parts or sub-aggregations.

It is the comprehension bit that can be objective (must be for a rational mind), and objectified. The subjective bits are not sufficient to produce comprehension; the intrinsic bits are also not sufficient. Separating them, except in retrospect of an existing whole, is putting the cart before the horse, experientially and therefore conceptually.

Objectivists distinguish between three things:

1. The intrinsic (or given), such as the fact that hydrogen behaves the way it does independent of consciousness;

2. The subjective, such as a quasi-concept that is either yet to be validated (inductive) or more or less invalid (floating -- the extreme of floating is a purely invalid concept);

3. The objective, which is a considerable entity, derived by linking the subjective to the intrinsic, producing a new object with intrinsic existence and value of its own.

I am saying that the first two never occur in and of themselves to the mind, and only the third, the product of the first two, is knowledge and therefore persistent and communicable.

And I am saying that if nothing but physical matter exists, then that process is impossible.

You are saying "but it must be possible".

I am saying, "exactly. Therefore, more than physical matter must exist".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...